Andrew Jackson Higgins
Higgins boats, almost forgotten, are now being brought back to life by dedicated individuals. Some of them served on Higgins PT boats and landing craft, but others are being restored by people that know about the true story of what Higgins Industries did for the world. These pleasure craft and military vessels are very rare and fall deep into the heart of their restorers.
Andrew J. Higgins had a vision, a drive, a passion that kept him going through good times and bad. Born in Columbus, Nebraska in 1886, he had a love for boats that would last him all of his life. A tough man that developed some of the first work boats that could navigate commercially in shallow waters, named Eureka “tunnel drive” vessels.
After moving to New Orleans (the hub of the world), a port where it made naval shipping possible, Higgins Industries was born. Higgins wooden boats developed quite a reputation for their toughness in the Southern climate. They were very effective in the swamp waters of Louisiana. Andrew Jackson Higgins and Higgins Industries grew from being a small Southern boat company to owning and operating seven large plants, employing 30,000 employees at one point in their operation. During WW II, Higgins Industries was the largest producer of landing craft and PT boats for this country, even blocking off city streets in New Orleans to build those boats that our country so desperately needed.
Higgins pleasure craft were designed after their big Brothers the PT Boats. If you have the honor to see a Higgins at a boat show, you will know it when you see it. They are different with their left hand steering, floor accelerator pedals (one of Higgins trademarks) and their shift levers on the columns, just as you would find in an automobile.
There are only about 200 Higgins pleasure craft left , so if you see one, consider yourself lucky. They drive different, they look different, they are beautifully designed and well thought out, not just a cheap plywood boat put together, but one that was built by the many hands that also built the Landing Craft and PT Boats during the war.
The Higgins Classic Boat Association is a group of Higgins pleasure craft owners dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Higgins boats from around the world. encourage you to visit the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans and the Andrew Jackson Memorial in Columbus, Nebraska.